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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/19/2010

'Snowmageddon' name traced back to CWG reader

By Andrew Freedman

We've been challenged to a snow pun-off!

When I joined the precursor to CWG in 2005,, I didn't expect that one day we'd be helping to name winter storms. Forecasting the storms, sure, but naming them seemed like a stretch. Besides, the ultimate storm name, "The Perfect Storm," had already been taken, so why try?

But then came "Snowmageddon," which changed everything.

As far as we can tell, the name was coined on this blog on Feb. 3 when we solicited contributions for a creative storm name. The original suggestion appears to have come from a reader who comments under the alias of "300_sq_ft." Many other readers suggested it too, and it won the clear majority of votes in a poll we held on Feb. 4. The name spread widely from there via the pages of this newspaper and social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, until it eventually wound up in remarks by President Obama to the Democratic National Committee on Feb. 6. (I'll forgive the President for not attributing the moniker to this blog, but it better not happen again).

Subsequently, and again with your help, CWG named the following storm "Snoverkill" (or "Snowverkill" depending on your spelling preference).

One of the tasks before us now is to determine what to call the winter as a whole. Suggestions floating around include "The Triple Double," which refers to the fact that we have had three snowstorms with double-digit totals in D.C., as well as the "Snowmongous Winter of 2009-2010." Hopefully this post will garner some more suggestions, but in order to avoid incurring the wrath of the snow gods, I think it would be best to hold off on a poll until winter is officially over.

With our track record this year of coming up with catchy names for major winter weather events, and hitting record traffic levels for storm coverage, you'd think that other bloggers would back off the name game and leave this to the pros here at CWG. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Here's an e-mail we received on Feb. 10, with the subject of "Apunalypse Snow," challenging us to a snowstorm pun-off. I have bolded certain key portions of the e-mail.

Hi Weather Gang,
I'm a blogger based in New York and - inspired by the snowstorm now hitting the city - I wanted to start a fun little fight with you about your puns. You know: snowpocalypse, snomageddon, snomgasm. I feel strongly that while your puns are cute and funny, they lack creativity. I think I have a list of even better puns. Or at least more creative. If you are so inclined, check 'em out:
All in good jest. Puns were never meant to be taken seriously.

In her blog post, the New York blogger states that the excessive snow is "no excuse" for "a group of terrible ... (s)no(w)-good, horrible snow puns."

I don't know about you, dear CWG readers, but I am insulted by this attempt to belittle our "snowpocalypse" and "snowmageddon" by attempting to out snow-pun us. I dare say that no city, especially not New York -- which didn't even get an inch of snow during Snowmageddon -- can out snow-pun Washington this winter. I mean, how the heck can this blogger think "Catasnowphe" beats "Snowmageddon?"

Perhaps the snow-free sidewalks of Manhattan have led to snowverconfidence.

I now turn to you to prove my point. Show this blogger what you can do. Let's compile a list of snow puns in the comments section below, along the lines of what the New York blogger did in her post, and send them off to her. I doubt she'll even think of challenging snowbound D.C. denizens again.

By Andrew Freedman  | February 19, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Freedman, Media, News & Notes, Snowmageddon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Monday storm trending less snowy, more rainy
Next: PM Update: Cool, calm weekend before next storm


I am insulted too. This means war! I will not take this sno more!

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 19, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

guess we'll just have to sNow her what we can do!!

btw, her list is hella-lame (maybe as lame as us sNowing her what we can do, lol)

Posted by: Pat_E | February 19, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The overall winter here with the good yield of snow can be called the snowcropolypse

Posted by: annabell1 | February 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Who is this dishoveled individual from NYC that has implowed that he can out-pun us? It is a flakerant violation of common sense that had mis-sled him to think that those who haven’t lived through this mid-Atlantic snowmans’s land can create puns as thawtful as those of us who have. Plower to the(DC)People!


Posted by: DOG3521 | February 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Brrrrzie Snowre (What would Snookie do?)"??? If I may take a line from the great Charles Barkley: "That's terrible"

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 19, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

However, "Graupeling with the Snowtion" does garner a chuckle.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 19, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I agree she snoverestimated her own pun-making skills. "Snow Country for Cold Men" in her comments section is pretty good, however...

Speaking of puns, here'a a non-weather related joke kids (and adults?) may enjoy:

What kind of cheese isn't yours?
That's nacho cheese!

Posted by: spgass1 | February 19, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I suspect the citation of the term "snomgasm" by our New York blogger is a typo or misread of the terms I mentioned in a comment, snogastic and snowgasm.

A friend said I should have a T-shirt saying,
The Snomongous Winter of 2009/2010:
Was it as good for you
as it was for me?

But even being a lifelong snow lover, I'm ready to say, snowdenufalready

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 19, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Snowpocalypso Now!

Posted by: wiredog | February 19, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who writes "SNOWMG" instead of "snOMG" should be immediately disqualified. The remainder are, sadly, a lot less clever than the originals.

Capital weather gang: 1. Shamelessly self-promoting New York blogger who's not nearly as funny as (s)he thinks they are: 0.

Posted by: jamietre | February 19, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Snomgasm is a twitter #tag that only makes sense if written snOMGasm. Ok, it still doesn't make sense.

Posted by: NZinDC | February 19, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

sno' mas! Snow man and Snow woman from NY can pull a snow job on the CWG or their bloggers! As a snow lover, my favorite "snowbriquet" for February 2010 is Snowtopia. This is, of course my snown snowpinion. Alsnow, beyond the snowsthetics, I like the Snowdality [sodality] of Snow. There snowthing like a blizzard to bring out the snowportive nature of our snowciety. That is all I can muster right now, snow I bid you snowlong!

Posted by: crbeliveau | February 19, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse


I applaud your post! You are a veritable Pun-dit!

Posted by: crbeliveau | February 19, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Can the entire winter be called a Giant Clusterflake? Or a Clusterflake of Epic Proportions? Or just Clusterflake???

Posted by: vnangia | February 19, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Typical of New Yorkers, they ALWAYS snoverestimate their own cleverness. I guess it is all part of deluding yourself into thinking that you actually like living that god awful city....

Posted by: ftwash | February 19, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Pfft. The NYC blogger is just mimicking the Daily Show: (link goes to clip on Hulu)

Going with the Daily Show, lets call this the "Unusually large winter of 2009-2010".

Posted by: nlcaldwell | February 19, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

great post up there rod - very clever.

this has been bugging me for a while, but it seems like all the names (snowpocalypse, snowmageddon etc...) MUST include a date. if not, it's just a case of being too clever for our own good. 10/20/40 years from now people will want to know WHEN these storms happened. so, it's still got to be "dec '09 snowpocalypse" and "feb '10 snowmageddon".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 19, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

ftwash, easy tiger, I don't want to have to take offense.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 19, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@ Tons of people

We've had a good deal of reponse on twitter about people using snowmageddon before, in different parts of the country or world for different storms. We saw all of them actually when reviewing this post, but felt that the snowmaggedon that we referenced, that went on to be used by Pres. Obama, all of the nightly news, all of the major newspapers up and down the east coast, etc. We were not trying to claim the initial creation, just point out the use during this storm, and stand up for DC's naming ability!

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | February 19, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

there is even a Snowmageddon tee shirt - pat collins showed it on nbc4 -

Posted by: grantohill | February 19, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Not sure about the entire winter but if we have another double digit storm it should be called "Snow Más" (no more).

Posted by: marozian | February 19, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

nlcaldwell, you said,
"...lets call this the "Unusually large winter of 2009-2010".

or...a la "the princess bride", we could call it "the winter of unusual size"

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 19, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

How about "The eSNOWrmous final(penultimate?) winter of the zednaughts"? A bit long?

Posted by: lwallach | February 19, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

For those who take pleasure in watching us suffer: Snowdenfreude

Posted by: jaec47 | February 19, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I think vnangia has the name: Clusterflake. Make it The 2009-2010 Clusterflake, giving a nod to walter-in-falls-church's point.

Posted by: --sg | February 19, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Snown dieu! Have we all gone snuts?

Posted by: dustygroundhog | February 19, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm snowverwhelmed by this winter.

Posted by: LucyInMaryland | February 19, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The Long Winter

Washington Whiteout Winter

The Winter of Snowmaggaedon

DC Deluge

Snowcession Winter

Snowopolis Snowdown

Snowington, D.C. the "new" Buffalo

Posted by: celestun100 | February 19, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll always think of it as Stemwinder. That's a word I was familiar with, growing up in coastal NE. When I saw it used by the HPC NCEP, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up and shrieked.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 19, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

This discussion is getting snowtesque, but it's always ice to have a punball fight:

- Wintergeddon
- Shovelgate
- Snoby Dick
- Plower Power
- The Flakeout
- Feet and Repeat were burying the streets...

Posted by: paperball | February 19, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the props CWG!

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | February 19, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey CWG, you want to know how I feel about the naming of this storm? Check it out:

My little quickly made sign, along with myself standing beside my AK Husky in the middle of the blizzard. I gave you folks a shout-out too, in striking my lil' outpost ;-)

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 19, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Andrew.....don't be concerned too much about having to "Name" winter storms. If your climate-warming theories prove correct, there will be fewer and fewer winter storms left to name at all.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 19, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I would have to say that New York's non-snow was "The Great White Nope"

@MMCarhelp - check those climate facts again - with climate change, the air will hold more moisture, and when that collides with cold air the storms will be quite spectacular.

Posted by: sciencegrrl | February 20, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"Inside the s'NO'wbelt" seems like an appropriate title since the snow prevented anyone from getting to work.

Posted by: kesbro | February 20, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry CWG, Chuck Bell (NBC4) coined the term "Snowmageddon", on the air, before the December storm. Not that it lessens its amazing pun-like qualities.

Posted by: AnneliBarnes | February 20, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Ahh but what to call the thawing...

Personally I like the naming & puns. I only got to dig out from one of these storms, and that was enough. However with friends & family in the area I still have to pay some attention to what the weather is doing. Even though I'm not there, and the weather's nicer where I am.

Posted by: Nymous | February 20, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The whole winter season:

S'nowrthern charm, s'owuthern efficiency

Posted by: wdiliberti | February 20, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: OverTheRiver | February 20, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

sciencegrrl...better check your Weather 101 textbook before you quote "facts".

With climate "change", the air will only hold more moisture IF its temperature increases and density decreases....which has generally not occurred this winter. So far, for most of this winter (not all), our temperatures have been well below average. The three blizzards here in D.C. occurred because of enormous moisture inflow from the tropics, Gulf, and Atlantic and a blocking pattern over greenland forcing Arctic air south.....not because of warmer air temperature.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 21, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse


The link you point us to is not from this winter but from over one year ago (January, 2009). So though our readers were not the first to come up with the name, they started the mass propagation of the term for the Feb 5-6 2010 storm.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

@ CapitalWeatherGang So right you are!

CWG 1, DCist 0


Also I bought a snow blower from eBay yesterday. Do you think I will use it this winter?

Posted by: OverTheRiver | February 21, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Name for the winter of 2009-2010 in DC region:

The Big White One (play on the Big Red One, but this would not mean the number 1, just one in the sense of "the right one.").

Posted by: Xlnt | February 21, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Snowstorm name, tip o' the hat to my son's friend Duncan S.:

Snowtorious B.I.G.

Posted by: TheMom1 | February 21, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Snowmageddon Twitter Analysis:
"The term was used widely across both Canada and the US"
Jan 30 2009

Posted by: CapitalClimate | February 21, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I like my Triple Double...Only well rounded snow cities can pull this off in a winter. Because we are a snow city, right?

Posted by: DullesARC | February 22, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Ecosnowmic Stimulus Package

Posted by: sampson8 | February 22, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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